THE WASP - John Kendall Poems


Poems » john kendall » the wasp

Of those uncertain creatures
  Who take a simple joy
In swelling up one's features
  On purpose to annoy,
Things void of natural sweetness,
  Aggressive and inhosp.
(Pardon the incompleteness)
  You are the first, O wasp.

There is no place we visit
  In England's pleasant land
(It isn't your place, is it?)
  But you must take a hand;
You set the nerves a-jangle,
  You turn the tan to chalk
Of anglers when they angle,
  Of walkers when they walk.

In no uncertain manner
  You bid the bather flee;
You foil the caravanner
  Who merely wants his tea;
You raid the earnest hopper,
  You break upon our sports,
And are, I'm told, improper
  To river girls in shorts.

We slap at you and swat you;
  We fell you as we may
(The rapture when we've got you
  Is more than words can say);
One may see great deeds daily
  When men unused to strife
Brave you, albeit palely,
  For screaming child or wife.

And we have learnt to fashion
  A lure that cannot fail,
Born of a lasting passion
  That you confess for ale;
An artful jar that cozens
  You in and, when you're tight,
Drowns you in drink by dozens,
  A most immoral sight.

But when the day is sinking
  And you retire to rest
That, to my private thinking,
  Is where man comes out best;
Armed with his apparatus
  He tracks you to the comb
Whence you come forth to bait us;
  Then, when the last wasp's home,

Bring forth, O man, your funnel;
  With oil and poison come;
Take heed lest haply one'll
  Pass down a warning hum;
Insert with care the former;
  Pour down the latter thick;
That should have made things warmer;
  That will have done the trick.

Thus with discreet defiance
  We tackle you, and yet,
For all the arts of science,
  You don't seem much upset;
Alert and undiminished
  You still appear to prosp.;
I leave the word unfinished
  To rhyme with you, O wasp.